Last night The Killing delivered an episode that contained what I’ve been asking for since the beginning of the series: several nice long scenes of Holder and Linden talking to each other. In fact, the entire episode pretty much consisted of nothing but that. This is both great and horrible.
Great, because we finally get to see the two detectives sharing some real quality time, and we learn some new stuff about them both. After Linden’s stupid kid Jack goes missing, Holder and Linden take a break from the investigation to try to track him down. During the course of the day, Linden opens up considerably, and we learn that she’s more messed up than we knew: she’s a former foster kid, her fried Regi (the lady with the houseboat) is actually her social worker, and the case that haunts her so much involved a guy murdering his wife, going to jail, and leaving his kid to navigate the same damaged foster care system that Linden grew up in.
As for Holder, we learn more about his addiction: while working narco he became addicted to meth, which caused a rift between him and his sister and her kids. He’s been working to make amends, and even had planned to visit his family the same day Jack goes missing, but he cancelled his visit because Linden needed his help to find Jack. Linden eventually realizes that Holder is making a big sacrifice for her, and while they spend plenty of time sniping and fighting, they wind up closer by the end of the day when Jack, who was visiting with his unseen and unnamed father, returns.
So, it was a great episode in that respect. I really enjoyed Holder in this episode: he’s a weird mix of immaturity and goofy ideas (he’s a vaguely spiritual vegetarian who doesn’t consider pork rinds to be meat, because it’s junk food), but also fiercely loyal and selfless. And Linden is much more sympathetic now that she’s let her guard down and shown some emotions.
It was a horrible episode simply because it’s so damn overdue. For it to arrive so close to the end of the season, when we should be closing in on Rosie’s killer, tying up loose ends, and finally cracking the case, it’s hard to just accept it for what it is: some welcome character development from the series’ two main figures. Since it comes so late, though, it’s a bit frustrating to see the forward momentum of the murder case stall while all this character development happens. It was nice to get a break from the boring political plot and the heartache of the disintegration of the Larsen family, but that break should have come mid-season instead of at the end.
In fact, I actually spent most of the episode thinking that Holder and Linden’s Jack-tracking would somehow tie back into Rosie’s case — after all, the initial investigation revolved around the teenagers that Rosie knew, and here once again were Holder and Linden trying to penetrate the world of sullen sk8r kids. I kept expecting them to stumble upon something Rosie-related or for one of the original teen suspects to turn up. It didn’t happen, though, so we’re still left with the frustrating mystery of which adults Rosie was mixed up with, and why one of them would want her killed.
As for the actual investigation, we only learned something we already pretty much knew: Rosie did indeed take the Adela ferry to the Indian casino the night she disappeared. Though the casino owner was less than helpful, Linden and Holder got some footage from an ATM confirming she made it to the casino. Since she got there on the last boat, that leaves the question of how she got back, and we can assume it was in the campaign car where her body was ultimately found. Which leaves Richmond, Jamie, and Gwen as suspects, simply because they would have had access to those cars. I still like Terry as the killer, because she’s weird and pointless and ever-present,but I can’t really imagine at this point how she did it or why.
With two weeks to go, I’m going to make a brash prediction:
Motive? Jealousy, I guess. Rosie was going to meet Richmond, potentially for something other than sex, but possibly for sex (though it seems kind of shitty to paint the nice murdered girl as some kind of slut this late in the game). Gwen learned of the meeting, and drove over to intercede because she’s in love with Richmond’s penis. She somehow wound up driving Rosie home, or maybe just followed her, but at some point there was a jealous confrontation and Rosie fled, then Gwen found her and stuffed into the trunk of the car. Somehow. No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either, but that’s all I’ve got until next week.